Addicted police officer shoots neighbour with AK-47 while on drugs

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The suspect was arrested by authorities after shooting and injuring his neighbour on Monday in Phnom Penh’s Tuol Kork district. Police

A police officer, who was arrested for shooting and injuring his neighbour on Monday in Phnom Penh’s Tuol Kork district, is a drug addict, police confirmed on Tuesday.

The chief of Phnom Penh municipal police’s Serious Crimes Bureau Heng Sophea said the suspect had been detained for questioning. He was said to have been under the influence of drugs when he shot his neighbour.

“Police have not finished questioning him because he is [still] under the influence of drugs. The suspect couldn’t even speak properly,” he said.

The suspect was arrested by authorities shortly after shooting Soeng Sophal, 52, in the back with an AK-47 rifle on Monday in Boeung Salang commune, Tuol Kork district. Sophal was rushed to Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital where he is being treated for his wounds.

Kim Kolydo, the commune’s police chief, said the suspect is a police officer in the commune and a neighbour of the victim. Kolydo, however, could not explain the motive for the shooting.

“I don’t know what argument the suspect and victim had that led to the shooting,” he said, adding that police found three shell casings at the scene.

The victim’s 23-year-old daughter Soeng Sothy claimed that the suspect carried the rifle looking for her father many times, even firing the rifle into the air and scaring other residents. The victim was said to be riding a motorbike to work when he was hit by one of two shots that were fired.

Yi Soksan, a senior officer at NGO Adhoc said the police officer acted in defiance of his duty to protect the people and should be indicted for criminal activity.

“We are very concerned when a law enforcer commits a crime and is a drug addict too,” Soksan said.

Soksan added that the suspect should be punished severely to dissuade others from following his bad example.